Douglas County’s cynical investigation of Tyler Sanchez

The Colorado Independent
By Susan Greene
December 10, 2018

Back in 2009, a rash of thefts and burglaries in Douglas County’s Stonegate neighborhood had residents stressing out. Pressure on the sheriff’s department intensified after an intruder reportedly broke into a home there and groped an 8-year-old girl in her bed.

Then-Sheriff David Weaver tried to quell the panic a week later by assuring the community that his office had cracked the case. “I hope that the residents of Stonegate feel a lot safer knowing that an arrest has been made and that someone will be held accountable for what occurred,” he said.

But there would be no accountability for the crime rash, which didn’t stop after Weaver’s department made that arrest.

And there would be no accountability for the groping incident because the only evidence against the department’s suspect, a then-18-year-old neighborhood kid named Tyler Sanchez, was too flimsy to stand up in court, causing prosecutors to drop the charges against him three years later.

What’s worse — far worse — is that, because of a jury verdict Friday in a federal civil trial, there will also be no accountability for the sheriff’s department that tried to pin the case on the cognitively delayed teenager from whom its detectives coerced a confession.

“They got away with it. They got away with what they did to my son,” Cindy Sanchez said Friday, sobbing after jurors rejected the claim of malicious prosecution that Tyler, now 28 and living in Lone Tree, brought against the detectives.

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